GamerDad Votes ’08

Politics at GamerDad are never simple. On the Right, you have the Cultural Conservatives, the “Moral Majority” (evangelicals and other people who want to impose “morality” on a society they see as slipping downward). While on the Left we have the “It takes a village” and the “protect the children” crowd (the people who attempt to ban all “play” violence). Both ban videogames for the same reason – violence – differing only in how much language doesn’t bother one side and how much sex does the other. Because of this, I serve both sides and don’t want to alienate either. But Tuesday is important and I have something to say about Barack Obama.

I won’t try to convince you to vote for him. I won’t list the reasons I have, but I will point out his statement on our hobby and our parental role in it.

Gaming blogs, right now, are making a big deal about Obama saying we need to “turn off the TV and put away the video games.” Bloggers making hay – for whatever reason – are knee-jerk reacting. Are gamers so deluded as to take offense at any suggestion that video games aren’t ALWAYS worthwhile pursuits? The context of this statement is clear. If people want better lives, to better themselves and their country, to stop watching TV and playing games all the time and do something about it.

GamerDad is 100% behind that message. 100%. Games are spice to life. They help parents and siblings bond, they can educate kids and inspire them, they need to be used responsibly as part of a life. An important part in my view, but something that needs to be put aside in favor of a real life.

FWIW McCain is hardly a crusader. He seems beholden to the Religious Right at the moment but that could change. He’s known for changing his views suddenly but has never developed a reputation as a censor or moral demagogue.

Tuesday, after I give my keynote at the ALA Symposium in Chicago Linda and I are hurrying to the train, then home, then to pick up the kids from school, then to the polling place. This is an important election – don’t let silly defensiveness over the relative merit of you’re precious little gaming hobby threaten your rights. For what it’s worth and for plenty of reasons, GamerDad heartily endorses Obama/Biden in ’08.

Vote your conscience on behalf of your children.

Photograph by GamerDad at a rally in Milwaukee WI March ’08.

Superman Picture is from the Internet, I don’t know who took it but it’s been my desktop here at GD central since June.

47 Responses to “GamerDad Votes ’08”

  1. This is the first time that our kids have been able to engage in intelligent discussion regarding a presidential election. It has been a wonderful experience – my parents have been pulled in by every little ‘robo-call’ and ‘things you should know’ emails, and I have used those to help my kids learn about proper research on the internet and how to determine if a source is reliable.

  2. Great post. Gamers unite! Obama ’08!

  3. Nicely said. As a gamer, I don’t take offense to his statements. These are true words.

  4. True. Everything in moderation.

  5. Personally, I’m not a fan of taxing people who work for their money, and then giving it to people who won’t. But y’all go ahead and vote for Obama.

    P.S. game developers make a heck of a lot more than 250 grand.

  6. James – tax rates on higher income individuals have been plummeting for decades, and in recent times they have actually stabilized. We have *always* had a progressive tax system where those making more pay higher rates as well as more dollars. One assumption of the drop in the higher tax rates through the years was that the infamous ‘trickle-down’ theory would work and that by disproportionately shrinking the tax burden on higher income individuals they would spend more on goods and services that would benefit the economy and that more money would flow to lower income individuals who occupy those jobs.

    It is a wonderful *theory* that has been proven fatally flawed so many times it is painful to recall. Sadly, the results are clear: the income disparity has only grown and with it so has the national debt: the people with more money used it to make more money and learn how to pay even less to the government.

  7. That last line was a good one.

  8. I’m wondering how many game developers James knows, as I know quite a few (and live with one) and can’t think of any, other than company owners, who make $250 k a year. In fact I think that only a tiny minority will be making even half of that.

  9. I hardly think that McCain is beholden to the Religious Right. In the past, they have been at odds. When Parsley and Hagee endorsed him, he disavowed them and quickly threw them under the bus when information about the endorsement became public. Dobson over at Focus on the Family said he would never vote for McCain and recently changed his mind. The RR will support him over Obama, but I haven’t seen anything that suggests he will do what they want.

    Frankly, both candidates seem pretty neutral on the issue of games. Obviously, neither is a gamer by any stretch. I doubt McCain is overly familiar with games and Obama admitted in an interview that he hasn’t played a video game since Pong.

    The big problem I have with Obama’s tax plan is his wanting to raise the tax on corporations, which seems to appeal to people that know little about economics. Our corporate tax rate is high compared to many other countries and any tax on them will just be passed on to the consumer and just encourage companies to go to countries with lower corporate taxes, like Ireland. I saw an editorial on voting for McCain because the writer preferred disaster to catastrophe. I am not that excited about either candidate, but I tend to agree with those sentiments.

  10. P.S. game developers make a heck of a lot more than 250 grand.


  11. Hey, I’m back again!

    Mike, the only problem with your theory, is that “redistibution of wealth” has been tried several times as well, and its not pretty. *cough* china *cough*. Our capitalist nation has lasted longer than any other idividual government other than Rome, which relied on slave labor. Rome only died because it changed its effective republic into a monarchy-esque government.

    The question in this issue is, do we offer incentives for people to get jobs, so everyone will have more money, or do we tax those who already have jobs, so everyone has less money?

    The entire reason we are in this economic mess is because democrats attempted to give the “lower classes” homes they couldn’t afford. If this is where giving the poor things they can’t afford leads us, then McCain has my vote all the way.

    Leah, Obama’s plan raises taxes on buinesses making more than 250 grand. If the entire game studio’s revenue exeeds 250 grand, everyone in the studio’s taxes are raised. So, if the buisness you work for makes more than $250,000, pre-tax, your taxes will be raised under Obama.

    P.S. that’s only enough to pay 20 employees $10,000 a year. Or 10 employees $20,000 a year.

  12. Revenue does not equal income.

    $250k in revenue doesn’t mean you can use it all or almost all to pay employees either. You could bring in $250k in revenue with only yourself as an employee and only make $50k a year in income.

    Don’t be a Joe the Plumber.

  13. *Sigh* Just when i thought i liked your guys’s views. 🙁
    Obama is a liar, he’s gonna raise taxes. and how can u vote for a guy when if a baby lives an abortion, u cant give it medical help, and just leaves it there to suffer! He is NOT a Christian, he’s just a plain sick guy who doesn’t hav enough experience.

  14. I don’t want my taxes to go up anymore. I don’t want my hard-earned money to go to the govt. so they can try to fix problems that people/businesses ( who were irresponsible with their money) started. Why loan money you don’t have? Why spend money you don’t have? As far as I’m concerned, let these companies go bankrupt and let’s start over and hopefully people will learn from their mistakes. Just buy stuff you can afford, people! No loans, no credit. Save for your house, schooling, future and quit getting in debt.

  15. I have a question. It’s just a question. I’m don’t intend to challenge or criticise anyone’s viewpoints. I know about as much about economics as I do about Uranus. It’s just something I’ve been wondering about. It isn’t really an argument, just a question I’d like answering.

    One of the main criticisms of obama is that he would raise taxes. Is that necessarily a bad thing? That money will go somewhere. Wouldn’t it be possible that the tax increase could be beneficial in the long run due to what that money would be spent on?

    I know that I’m probably being ignorant here for a number of reasons and just talking out of my arse. It’s just something I’ve been wondering about.

    Doesn’t really matter for me anyway, primarily because I’m 4 years below voting age and on the wrong side of the Atlantic.

  16. Doesn’t really matter for me anyway, primarily because I’m 4 years below voting age and on the wrong side of the Atlantic.

    And yet still more eloquent than many 😉

  17. The problem is that the government is terribly inefficient at spending the money it takes in, and has historically said things like ‘we’re raising gas tax by 25 cents to repair roads’ … then just dumps the money into the general slush fund and comes back saying they can’t cut tolls because they need money to repair roads.

    Both Obama and McCain have promised tax cuts, with a difference – Obama is more honest in stating that above a threshold of $250,000 the cut changes to an increase. McCain cuts *less* below $250,000 to pay for giving those >$250,000 a tax cut as well … it is classic trickle-down theory which has sadly been proven as a non-working theory repeatedly and is at least partly responsible for many of the greed-grabbing economic issues of the last decade.

  18. Hey, it’s no biggie or anything, but I have a suggestion to make. Next time someone writes a blog here about politics, maybe we should put a disclaimer that the views of the writer may not reflect the views of everyone who writes for the site. Again, no biggie, just a suggestion. Happy voting day! –Cary

  19. But this is GamerDad’s site, after all, and we as his minions can agree or disagree … but it is still his site 😉

  20. Hey Cary.
    When a newspaper endorses a candidate, it’s generally understood that it doesn’t reflect the view of all contributors. In fact, I know some of my volunteers disagree on some of my views. But this isn’t a democracy, it is as Mike said, my site and I felt strongly enough to make this endorsement. It’s the most crucial election of our lifetime and a historic one at that.

    My message above is that I endorse Obama/Biden. But it also asks readers to vote their conscience. If Obama isn’t for you for whatever reason, that’s fine and you are welcome to explain why or not explain anything, as you like. I chose not to go into the mini-book of reasons why I believe in Obama. But I did want to repudiate GamePolitics reactionary reaction to Obama’s words on “putting the games away.”

    But I’m sorry if it made you uncomfortable Cary.

  21. PLUS… what? No commentary on my awesome photography skills or that way cool Superman one?

  22. Actually I don’t think this game review site is the same “forum” as a newspaper to endorse political views. It is a site I go to to check out games for my child, not to get political view points on who you feel is the better candidate. I feel it is a little inappropriate, but I guess if you own this site you can put whatever you wish on it.
    BTW, my son loves Wii Music – thanks for the review!!

  23. Fair enough, and I partially agree with you – which is why I’ve only done something like this twice before in 5 years, I feel VERY strongly on this one – but you’re not going to see more posts like it … well, no promises in 4 years.

  24. Shera: “It is a site I go to to check out games for my child, not to get political view points on who you feel is the better candidate.”

    I’d like to point out that no one MADE you read Gamerdad’s post regarding the election. You could have ignored it and just stuck to reading the gaming info.

    Please don’t take this post as being negative. Just my observation.

  25. (not the same James as above) — FYI hold on to your wallets; looks like Obama has it all wrapped up at this point.

    Anyway, more than anything else I’m just glad it’s all over with.

  26. Dangit, WERE DOOMED!

  27. (the same James as above, not the James Who posted most recently)

    Personally, I believe that the largest problem with this election was not the candidates or their stances on the issues.

    The biggest problem in this election is the fact that a good many, if not most, votes were cast based on which candidate would give voters the most money. Partriotism is dying as a voting issue.

    I don’t hold these views personally, but this is a quote from a history professor who studies democracies: “A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.”

    I pray this does not happen in America. May God bless America, and the man he chose as president, even if I do not agree with his views.

  28. Yeah I’m just glad we got a guy in there who wants to give money to the middle class instead of the rich. Seems to me we should help those who are less well off instead of those who are better off.

  29. I will agree with James (the one who posted most recently) that most people will vote based on their pocketbook.

    What I was most disappointed with is that neither candidate was willing to discuss in detail how they would cut spending. Tax cuts are nice but one cannot decrease revenue and continue to spend, spend, spend. Note: I realize that if either candidate had actually detailed spending cuts then they most likely would have lost because the cuts could have angered some voting block.

    In interest of full disclosure I voted for Obama. Now he has to deliver.

  30. I couldn’t disagree with you guys more, I feel like America makes sense again and the mandate was resounding.

    But, man is it energizing to hear from new voices! Happy to have you fellas – and all of you reading and not posting too.

  31. ( I added the C. to differentiate between James’s. This is the one who posted most recently.)

    Consider James c. to now be a regular commenter on this site, I really enjoy and appreciaite what y’all do here. I was suprised and slightly dissapointed that you support Obama, but I don’t think that affects your ability to do your job. We must agree to disagree.

  32. I look at it this way. This country needs change. I am not sure what needs to be done, I just know that staying the course we have for the past 4 years at least is not working. So the fact that we now have a Democrat in the White House *and* a Democratically controlled congress means that things will get done sooner rather than later. Whether or not those things are good, bad, ruinous, or exceptional only time will tell.

    So let’s all hope, whether you voted for him or not, that Obama surrounds himself with good, smart people who can get the job done of turning America around.

  33. These next four years are gonna suck!

  34. “So let’s all hope, whether you voted for him or not, that Obama surrounds himself with good, smart people who can get the job done of turning America around.”

    I’m very encouraged from what I’ve seen… Obama does seem to be able to bring in intelligent advisors.


    Mike said waaay back there:
    ” tax rates on higher income individuals have been plummeting for decades, and in recent times they have actually stabilized. We have *always* had a progressive tax system where those making more pay higher rates as well as more dollars….. by disproportionately shrinking the tax burden on higher income individuals they would spend more on goods and services that would benefit the economy ”

    One thing I always object to is the implication that those making more money pay less taxes. As you say, the progressive tax system has been there for a long time (those with more money, pay more). When you talk about disproportionately shrinking the tax burden on higher incomes, you’re glossing over the fact that they already pay more (in real and in percentage terms). What you’re actually opposing is “proportionately shrinking” the tax burden on higher income people to make them pay a percentage that is less than before but still higher than lower incomes…

    The real issue I think is not raising taxes so much as closing off loopholes. A fair tax like that popularized by Huckabee would have been very nice. (Think of getting rid of income tax and having a national sales tax.) That taxed pure consumption, so even if you were getting your money illegally you were still taxed if you wanted to spend it on anything…

    All kinds of nice savings in there, you could get rid of the IRS, you could avoid paying taxes altogether if you only bought used goods (for those who like to be thrifty), savings is encouraged as any income saved isn’t taxed first, etc…

    I just wish we didn’t have implicit federal withholding. I think people would be surprised to see what their paychecks would look like if corperations didn’t have to pay taxes on them. (ie. what people is taken out in taxes is just a fraction because their employer pays at LEAST that much again to the government in other taxes…)

    My $0.02.

    Glad to see the election have a clear winner.

  35. Wow, Obama isn’t even in office yet and Wampa is declaring the next four years will suck. Wouldn’t it make more sense to see what Obama can do before declaring his presidency a failure??

  36. I like the consumption tax idea, but don’t think for a second there won’t be problems with that either.

    The IRS wouldn’t go away. We need to make sure people are paying taxes on things they buy. The rich would just be exchanging favors.

    Taxing services would be a tough sell. You’re not buying anything, but mostly labor. Do you tax that? How do you enforce it? We might have to keep track of income still. IRS is still here for that then.

    We’d have to tighten our borders so untaxed goods don’t flow through and make their way to the rich folks who will be trying to dodge taxes.

    WE’d also turn every business into much large tax collectors than they are now.

    IT’s no miracle solution. Who knows what different kinds of problems it would create.

    Also its no secret the gap between the rich and poor have widened considerably. CEOs make many multiples more than the rank and file worker than was the case 20 years ago. That’s the reason for raising taxes on the wealthier. I think we other reforms as well such as limiting CEO pay to a multiple of the companies lowest paid full-time worker.

  37. @Chuck
    Never really thought of that.

  38. Depending on who you talk to, Wampa, the last eight years sucked. If nothing else, this is suckage from the opposite side, which may bring us back more towards the center where we belong but can never seem to be satisfied with.

    I for one welcome our new Democratic overlords. But if they screw up, we’ll be waiting for them at the polls in 2010, 2012, and 2014.

  39. Guys!!!! The economic crisis is not the result of the last four years! The economic crisis we are in is the result of Fanny May and Freddie Mac, which were instituted by a democratic president!

    To freakhead:

    CEO’s have always made waayyy more than the average guy, its just that politicians are just now starting to publicize it.

    Fair tax would eliminate most of IRS. The whole idea of fair tax is to eliminate the tax code and withholdings. Those two things basically constitute the IRS.

  40. Dang, I accidentally hit the submit button.

    Continuing to Freakhead:

    How can you evade a sales tax? You buy the item, and the tax is in the price. You pay for the item and leave, the government gets a cut. In order to tax labor you just tag on a percentage. 100 bucks pre-tax, stick on a 15% tax, and bam! $115.

    I’m officially resigning from commenting on this topic.

  41. By attributing the economic mess to just Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, you’ve missed a fairly significant piece of the puzzle. Certainly, loose lending standards there helped, but face it–every financial company out there was guilty of the same thing. The combination of people, corporations and government living beyond their means is the root cause, and it was always a matter of when, not if the economy would come tumbling down. Most of our politicians helped create this mess–both Democrat and Republican.

    The fair tax? Nope, sorry–consumption taxes do the opposite of progressive taxes–the burden of tax falls on those folks lower on the economic scale. Those on the higher end use a (much) smaller percentage of their income on such taxed consumptions, compared to Joe Sixpack who spends far more (as a percentage of income) on taxed consumptions.

    I would agree we need to take a hard look at how taxes are assessed, how they are collected, and how they’re spent. We have to collect taxes–there is no other way to support national programs including the military. No doubt we’d all like to pay less taxes–we just need to be careful that we don’t cut so much that we end up costing ourselves far more a few years down the line.

  42. Buy crap in Canada. Avoid consumption tax.

    Order stuff from overseas. Avoid consumption tax.

    Barter goods & services to avoid consumption taxes.

    Point is the grass isn’t necessarily greener on the other side.

    CEO pay? Point is the pay gap between CEO and rank & file worker has increased dramatically in the last 20 years. Not that CEOs make more money. CEOs are raping corporations and stockholders due to corporate boards being in bed with the CEOs and due to the size of the corporation and lack of oversight from the government.

  43. This isn’t a discussion I expected to read/participate in from one of the gaming sites I frequent. Thank you all.

  44. We’re a little different. In a good way. Honest. 🙂

  45. Oi, “Fanny May and Freddie Mac” Those are the 2 names i was trying to remember.

  46. One of the main criticisms of obama is that he would raise taxes. Is that necessarily a bad thing? That money will go somewhere. Wouldn’t it be possible that the tax increase could be beneficial in the long run due to what that money would be spent on?

    Some guy, I think that is a very good question. I can only speak for myself, but I have never minded when my taxes were spent on useful things that are beneficial to society. Things like infrastructure, schools, mental health services for the poor, etc. The problem is that the federal budget tends to get bogged down in pork projects that aren’t beneficial to the nation, such as (from the CAGW website):

    1. $4,000,000 for the Northern Line Extension in Alaska. The Northern Line Extension will provide a direct route from North Pole (pop. 1,778 in 2005) to Delta Junction (pop. 840 in 2000), which is a whopping 82.1 mile drive on one highway between the two villages according to MapQuest. If Alaska needs this, why am I paying for it?

    2. $59,000,000 for medical research projects ranging from cancer to diabetes to gynecological disease. As important as this research may be, there is no mention as to why these programs should receive money from the Department of Defense. One program which weighs heavily on taxpayers in this category is $1.35 million for the “Obesity in the Military Research Program.”

    3. $7,556,660 for grape and wine research. Wine is a popular beverage. In fact, in 2006, per capita U.S. wine consumption was 2.39 gallons while the U.S. exported 404.5 million liters of wine. Total wine sales in 2006 were $27.8 billion. There is no pressing need for taxpayers to pay for this research. The wine industry is huge, why can’t they foot this bill?

    I am sure that there will always be major differences as to how money should be spent, but I think that most people are angered when they feel that our elected officials seem to waste “our” money.

  47. What I find disturbing is that Obamessiah (PBUH) supporters can’t even write about video games without mentioning his name. Everything is politicized. So long.

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